Mission Accomplished has become Impossible.

10 02 2010

Cue the music……………………

The date was 1st May, 2003. George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier in front of cheering troops, with the stars and stripes proudly fluttering in the breeze and  the President announced that the mission was accomplished.

 Forty-three days after the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US-led Coalition of the Willing had succeeded in removing Saddam Hussein from power, condemning the dictator and terrorist sympathiser to life on the lam. George had brought democracy to Iraq, no longer would the people live in fear of the brutal repression that had taken so many innocent lives.

 “The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done.

Nearly seven years later, there are still  US troops in Iraq. 

To date, there have been 4,693 Coalition casualties with the USA taking the lions share with 4,375. The United Kingdom has seen 179 bodies return from a conflict that many believed to be illegal.

 In July of 2009, the UK announced that an Inquiry into the Iraq War would take place, covering the decision to go to war, whether troops were properly prepared, how the conflict was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath.

In the US there have been three published reports into the conflict with the 2006 US Senate Intelligence Committee publishing a 400 page report which concluded that there was little or no evidence to back the claims of the intelligence community that Hussein was developing WMDs.

The cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom is now just over $706 billion and the costs increase every minute of every day. That is a high price for the average American to pay for bringing democracy and free market liberalism to Iraq. With a recently announced Budget Deficit of $1.6 trillion, then it is clear that overseas military obligations are a significant drain on resources.

And violence between previously oppressed religious factions in Iraq still continues, with the fear of clashes marring preparation for the upcoming “democratic” elections.

Then there is the additional conflict that is taking place in Afghanistan otherwise known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

 According to  the community website www.costofwar.com, this secondary front has only cost $253 billion so far, but as the primary US-UK concern is now with fighting the Taliban and ensuring that the citizens of Afghanistan can enjoy freedom, then this will increase.

Total casualties in this theatre of war to date are low with only 1,631 deaths since 2001, although the USA has seen 986 personnel perish.

And then Iran sticks two fingers up by continuing its nuclear programme…………

Which can only end in tears.

Mission Accomplished. Not.

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